Republicans pick up many seats in state House and state Senate, growing supermajorities

On Tuesday night, Kentucky’s election results showed a huge sweep for Republicans at the state level as they brought their majorities to 75 of 100 members in the House and 30 of 38 members in the Senate.

At the national level, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell won his re-election race by a large margin and all of Kentucky’s congressmen easily won their re-election races.

As we wait to see final results in the presidential race and learn who will control the U.S. Senate, here is a look at how many state races played out.

Much of the following is written based on unofficial election results but many of the margins are safe.

Some of the most notable races people had been watching closely include:

  • Rep. Jason Nemes holding his seat in Louisville after winning 54.4% of the vote with 94.29% of precincts reporting
  • Sen. Chris McDaniel winning his re-election race in northern Kentucky by 8,644 votes by the end of the night with 83.13% of precincts reporting
  • The Republican Johnnie L. Turner beating longtime incumbent Democrat Sen. Johnny Ray Turner (2,960 votes separated the two with 94.03% of precincts reporting at the time this story was written).
  • A Republican will hold a longtime Democratic Senate seat as Adrienne Southworth (R) ended up with 52.6% of the vote over current state Rep. Joe Graviss (D) and the son of retiring state Sen. and former Governor Julian Carroll, Ken Carroll (I). 95.88% of precincts had reported in this race at the time this story was written.
  • Democratic Rep. Maria Sorolis narrowly losing her Louisville race to GOP candidate and former legislator Ken Fleming (it was stated on KET election coverage she intends contest these results to ensure all absentee votes have been counted).

The House saw Republicans defend and retain all incumbent members and will welcome many new members in 2021 including:

  • Mary Beth Imes (R) in the 5th District replacing Larry Elkins (R) who did not run for re-election. The seat was previously held by her husband, former Rep. Kenny Imes.
  • Josh Calloway (R) upset incumbent Rep. Dean Schamore (D) in District 10 winning 52.2% of the vote with 94% of precincts reporting. Schamore conceded the race on Facebook Tuesday night.
  • Jonathan Dixon (R) is beating incumbent Rep. Rob Weiderstein (D) by 1,645 votes with 95% of precincts reporting in District 11.
  • Former Rep. DJ Johnson (R) looks to be the victor in the western Kentucky District 13 where he is up over Rep. Jim Glenn (D). This seat has switched hands between the two men over a few election cycles.
  • Shawn McPherson (R) will represent the 22nd District replacing retiring Rep. Wilson Stone.
  • Matt Lockett (R) handily won his race in District 39 to replace retiring Rep. Russ Meyer (D), making it a pick up for the GOP.
  • Republican Killian Timoney currently leads Democrat Shirley Mitchell by 915 votes with 97.96% of precincts reporting in the 45th District. This race is to replace retiring Rep. Stan Lee (R).
  • Felicia Rabourn (R) easily won the open 47th District seat held by retiring Rep. Rick Rand (D).
  • Ken Fleming (R) in the 48th District where he looks to have narrowly defeated incumbent Rep. Maria Sorolis (D).
  • Dan Fister (R) replacing retiring state Rep. Joe Graviss (D) in the 56th District.
  • Jennifer Decker (R) will replace retiring Rep. Rob Rothenberger (R) in the 58th District
  • William Lawrence (R) in the 70th District replacing retiring state Rep. John Sims (D).
  • Ryan Dotson (R) will be the new Representative for the 73rd District after defeating incumbent Les Yates in the Republican primary.
  • Billy Wesley (R) handily won in the 91st District. This seat was formerly held by state Rep. Cluster Howard (D) and had gone back and forth between Republican and Democrat control with close elections for many years but Wesley won the seat with 70.6%.
  • Norma Kirk-McCormick (R) will represent the 93rd District, a flip for the GOP as the seat was previously held by Rep. Chris Harris (D).
  • Patrick Flannery (R) beat incumbent Rep. Kathy Hinkle (D) by a large margin and will be the new Representative for the 96th District.
  • Scott Sharp (R) won against incumbent Rep. Terri Clark (D) in the 100th District.

Other new members will also be joining the General Assembly following the primary elections where winners did not face a general election challenge. View the primary election results here.

Senate Republicans also kept all their incumbent members and have two seat pickups in Southworth and Turner.

Outgoing state Rep. Chris Harris (D) was running for the Kentucky Supreme Court in the 7th District. Harris was defeated by Circuit Judge Robert Conley, 54% to 46% on Tuesday night.

Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for results in the presidential and U.S. Senate elections.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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